COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Tawana Williams, national motivational speaker and author, spoke to Airmen and youth from Mount Pleasant M.B. Church about her life and how she overcame life with a disability July 16, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.
Williams was born without arms and has limited use of her legs and wasn’t supposed to live past two years old, but she never let that stop her from living life.
“My mother told me there was nothing I couldn’t do,” Williams said. “My grandma used to tell me ‘You don’t need arms because God didn’t give them to you. If you don’t have it, you don’t need it.’”
When Williams was in her teens, she became addicted to drugs and would continue to rely on them for 10 years. She said that one night she was lying in bed and prayed that God would help her cure her addiction.
“I said ‘God, kill me in my sleep or deliver me from this addiction,’ and it was done,” Williams said.
Another challenge she talked about was raising a child. She said many people told her to put her daughter, April, up for adoption because she wouldn’t be able to care for her. Williams ignored her doubters and raised her daughter who is now 32. She also demonstrated for the crowd how she changed April’s diaper, fed and burped her and dressed her without arms.
“I proved them wrong and beat the odds once again,” Williams said. “I took care of my daughter, I bathed her, braided her hair, fed and burped her. What a mother would do [to care for a child], I did.”
Since 1996, Williams has been on the road telling her story to churches, schools, prisons, day cares, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, veterans associations and colleges in hope of inspiring of motivating them to live their lives and never say ‘I can’t do it’.”
“Honestly, I was blown away,” stated Chief Master Sgt. Tracy Tolliver. “My favorite part of the event was that she came [here] and talked to young people. She made it a point to tell them they could do anything they set their minds to and that there are no limits to what they can do.”
Williams said if there is one thing that she hopes attendees take away from her story is to stop making excuses, because excuses don’t hide anything, they just reveal who you really are.